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Old 02-16-2010, 11:56 PM   #1
Aug 2007
Posts: 12

So I'm making a beer.. or mead or whatever... with 6lbs of malt extract and 6 lbs of honey. I made it Sat. night and pitched the yeast, (champagne yeast) along with some yeast nutrient. Sunday morning the beer was bubbling like crazy but as of monday it really seems to have come to a complete stop. The recipe I based it on said to let it sit for four weeks and I expected it to bubble for a bit longer. Is the fermentation done, or any suggestions about how to get it started again? Also an FYI, my brewing supplies are quite limited and I dont have a hydrometer. Usually just let it go for a few days and transfer to to the glass carboy for a bit but with the honey being new to me I'm not quite sure what to do.


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Old 02-17-2010, 12:07 AM   #2
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Revvy's Avatar
Dec 2007
"Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,941
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The only thing you need to do is get out of the habit of thinking that the airlock is a fermentation gauge.

Your fermentation hasn't stopped, your airlock has.

All you really know is that your airlock isn't venting excess co2, NOT whether or not you have a stuck fermentation!

There's a big difference between those two conditions.

Just because your airlock isn't bubbling doesn't mean that fermentation is finished, or stuck, or anything.

Your airlock is not a fermentation gauge, it is a VALVE to release excess co2.

More than likely the peak of fermentation has already wound down, so there's simply no need to vent off any excess co2.

"Bubbling action" is not a good way to tell if anything is happening, plenty of beers ferment without a single bubble from the airlock.

Fermentation is not always "dynamic," just because you don't SEE anything happening, doesn't mean that any-thing's wrong,, and also doesn't mean that the yeast are still not working diligently away, doing what they've been doing for over 4,000 years..

The bubbling just means that it is venting excess CO2, nothing more. If it's not bubbling, that only means that it is not producing enough co2 to need to vent.

If your airlock was bubbling and stopped---It doesn't mean fermentation has stopped.

If you airlock isn't bubbling, it doesn't mean your fermentation hasn't started....

If your airlock starts bubbling, it really doesn't matter.

If your airlock NEVER bubbles, it doesn't mean anything is wrong or right.

The only way to truly know what is going on in your fermenter is with your hydrometer. Like I said here in my blog, which I encourage you to read, Think evaluation before action you sure as HELL wouldn't want a doctor to start cutting on you unless he used the proper diagnostic instuments like x-rays first, right? You wouldn't want him to just take a look in your eyes briefly and say "I'm cutting into your chest first thing in the morning." You would want them to use the right diagnostic tools before the slice and dice, right? You'd cry malpractice, I would hope, if they didn't say they were sending you for an MRI and other things before going in....

Thinking about "doing anything" without taking a hydrometer reading is tantamount to the doctor deciding to cut you open without running any diagnostic tests....Taking one look at you and saying, "Yeah I'm going in." You would really want the doctor to use all means to properly diagnose what's going on. It's exactly the same thing when you try to go by airlock....

It's only been a few days....in another 10 days or so take a gravity reading...Until then;

Everything's fine.
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:49 AM   #3
Aug 2009
Atwater, OH
Posts: 4,317
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+1 - Listen to Revvy, he is a great help to many. (Including me.)
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)

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Old 02-17-2010, 02:19 AM   #4
Aug 2007
Posts: 12

haha... well thanks for the help. I really do need to get a hydrometer I know. Just that with school im usually too busy to brew all too often to do all the testing i probably should and I usually dont run into any major issues... but then again every once inawhile something like this comes up...

but yeah i appreciate your thoughts

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